We went on a beach vacation to beautiful Lakeside, Michigan with our friends last month. When we booked the house for the week, we knew that we would do a lot of cooking and less eating out. Before we went, I made a shopping list on GoogleDocs and shared it with Jamie so we could figure out what we already had, what we needed to buy, and any changes that we needed to make to the menu. On our way there, we stopped at WalMart in Michigan City, IN and got the things we thought we needed. This list is for 2 families:: 4 adults and 6 children between the ages of 2 and 7.
- Breakfast: waffles- 2 boxes, eggs- 2 dozen, milk- 2 gallons, sausage, jelly, butter, syrup, hash browns, Cheerios, oatmeal
- Lunch: bread- 3 loaves, lunch meat- 4 lbs., chips- 3 bags, mac n cheese- 2 boxes, spaghetti o’s- 2 cans, pretzels, gogurt- 24, ketchup, mustard, frozen peas, peanut butter
- Dinner: frozen corn, pasta- 2 boxes, pasta sauce- 2 jars, garlic bread, lettuce- 2 heads, dressing, frozen pizzas- 4, meat to grill- 2 packs hot dogs, brats- 2 packs, hamburger- 2 lbs, chicken- 10 breasts, vegetables to grill, hamburger buns- 2 bags, hot dog buns- 3 bags, grill seasoning, strawberries, bananas, grapes, apples, carrots, peppers, onions
- Extras: cookies, candy, apple juice, lemonade mix, pop, beer
It was helpful to break down what we could buy ahead of time and what we needed to buy on the way. We didn’t want milk and frozen food sitting in the car for over 2 hours. When we stopped in Michigan City, we dropped the guys and kids off at a park and Jamie and I went to the store and tried to be as efficient as possible.
We just returned from a week at the beach in Michigan. We rented a house with our good friends and tried (mostly successfully) to entertain 6 kids aged 7 and under for a 24/7 playdate. Almost every day was a beach day. It was a short (ish) walk to a private entrance to the beach from our house. The beach in southwest Michigan is beautiful. The water can be a bit cool but on a hot day, it felt great.
We brought sand toys to build sand castles and some cars to drive around the castles. We had watering cans and boats to play in the water. We also brought a football and floaties. There was a sandbar not very far off shore that the bigger kids and the adults (except for me) liked to swim out to.
The water is quite clear there and really very nice. After playing and swimming and building, the kids were glad to have juice boxes to get refreshed. We froze them before we left and they were perfect and cold for a hot summer day. Lakeside, Michigan and the surrounding area is a great place for a beach vacation, especially if you don’t live close to the ocean.
Last week when we were staying in Lakeside, Michigan with the Weitls, we were looking for something to do other than our usual visit to the beach. We decided to head north up Red Arrow Highway (Hwy 12) and make a few stops. First we went to Harbert Swedish Bakery for breakfast, then cherry picking at Jollay Orchards, and then to the Silver Beach area in St. Joseph. We parked right behind the Silver Beach Center ($2/hr) and went in to ride the Silver Beach Carousel. There were some neat different carousel figures for the kids to ride and the music was classic. The kids and adults enjoyed the ride.
After riding the carousel, we walked out the front door and across the street to the Whirlpool Compass Fountain. It was a hot day and the kids enjoyed cooling off in the water fountains. It took them a few minutes to get started, but once they got going they were all soaking wet. There were fountains that came up from the ground and others that sprayed from above. It alternated between the two which was a fun change.
There were many other things to do in the Silver Beach area. There is a children’s museum and a discovery zone as well as beach access. When we were there, there was an art fair as well. You could easily spend a day there and still have more to do. After the fountain, we walked back to the parking lot and headed back to our vacation house.
Here are some of my favorite pictures from our recent trip to Lakeside, Michigan. A big thank you to Jamie and Mike for taking the pictures and to Jamie for editing them!
After stopping for breakfast at Harbert Swedish Bakery on Red Arrow Highway, we headed north toward Jollay Orchards. We had found some information online and it seemed like a kid friendly place so we gave it a try. As soon as we pulled into the parking lot, we knew the information we had wasn’t exactly accurate. The ferris wheel was an antique and did not run and the Western town was not really anything the kids could do. We decided quickly to just go for the u-pick cherries and hope that was enough to do.
We got 2 small buckets and climbed on the hay rack ride to head out into the orchard. The kids were excited and ready to start picking right when we climbed off. We were picking sour cherries and planned to make pies with them when we got back to the house.
Everyone enjoyed picking the cherries and some of us enjoyed eating them too. I think if everyone had been eating them that we could have had a pit spitting contest! Cara may or may not have eaten a few cherry pits along the way.
After we filled the two buckets, we gathered the kids to take some pictures. The sun was shining in their faces but they still look pretty cute anyway!
We rode the hay rack back to the Farm Market and paid the extra $.30/lb to have our cherries pitted with the pitting machine. They were still only $1.29/lb which I thought was a pretty good deal. The kids had fun and we got our main ingredient for the amazing pies that Jamie would bake for us!
Sometimes when on a beach vacation, I need a little break from the beach. I want to have a place for the kids to have fun and not have to deal with the sand being everywhere when we are done. In southwest Michigan just north of New Buffalo along Red Arrow Highway, there is a neat little park that was just perfect for the kids. We went on a super hot day and were glad to have the splash pad to cool off in. If you come prepared with swimsuits (we decided to just go with clothes since we were doing other things before), be aware that on a sunny day that the ground is super hot. I left Cara’s socks on so she wouldn’t burn her feet. I sat on one of the benches and it was VERY hot.
There is also a regular playground directly next to the spray park. It had a lot of climbing things and the kids really liked it. The adults liked the shelter as that was the only shade we could find. It really was a very hot day. If it had been a bit cooler, I think we would have stayed there for a long time. The entire park and shelter area was very clean and well maintained. It would be a great place for a picnic too as there were many picnic tables in the shelter. So next time you are in southwest Michigan, cruising along on Red Arrow Highway, make a stop at New Buffalo Township Memorial Park and cool off at the splash park. The kids loved it!
Last summer, we stayed at the Ramada Limited Waterfront in Mackinaw City, Michigan for two nights. It is a great choice for a stay in Mackinaw City, Michigan for a few reasons. One of those reasons may seem strange at first and that is that the Comfort Suites Lakeview is right across the street. What? Well, as a guest at the Ramada Limited, you have access to the amazing waterpark at the Comfort Suites. We also ate breakfast there one morning. The location of the hotel is also great. It is located directly next to one of the ferries that goes to Mackinac Island. The Ramada Limited also has a small beach. It was a nice place to relax and unwind for a bit. The rooms are a bit rundown and outdated, but our room was clean and comfortable. Overall, we enjoyed our stay and I would choose it again for the price, location, and to see the kids have a great time in the waterpark.